The Christian churches tended to follow the arrangement of Old Testament books within the third century BC Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Septuagint. These were basically arranged topically, with the so-called “law” books first, followed by historical books, and ending with the prophetic collection. This arrangement fits well with the categorical thinking influenced by Greek philosophy, and also fits theologically with the role of prophets as understood in the early Church.


In the Tanakh, The Torah was the primary foundation of the community. The Prophets both Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings) and Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Book of the Twelve), were the practical outworking of those foundational instructions for life.  The Writings were the reflective and liturgical dimensions of the tradition.



In the Jewish canon, the books of The Torah have different names than in the Christian canons, taken from the first Hebrew words of the book: Berishit (“in beginning”), Shemot (“names”), Vayikra (“and he called”), Bemidbar (“in the wilderness”), and Debarim (“words”). The Christian names of the books are from the titles in the second century Greek translation, the Septuagint.